Carousel

Date 6th May 2015
Society Worthing Musical Comedy Society
Venue The Connaught Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Allan Cardew
Musical Director Nigel Newman
Choreographer Rachel Apps

Report

Author: Jose Harrison

Since Rodgers and Hammerstein first unleashed this colossus of musical theatre upon Broadway 70 years ago, Carousel has become the backbone of the British amateur stage. It appears in most societies back catalogue as often as Oklahoma or Oliver and with good reason. Its moving message of young love, lost opportunity, and good triumphing over evil at the very end are the best ingredient for a really popular show. WMCS have it down three times in their roll of honour: 1966, 1982 and 2001 and what better choice for their 80th Year. Mark Winrow was the inspiration behind the set design. The slide across ‘Louvre’ flats and brilliant turn table and a few easily moveable props combined with use of back projected images allowed for complete changes of scene. I loved the star scene, the lighting worked well thanks to Stephen Holroyd, the sound in the hands of Brian Mercer was great despite the number of personal ‘mikes’ involved and the Wardrobe mistress Deborah Goodson should be congratulated on the choice and variety of delightful costumes. The company numbers had been imaginatively choreographed and were well-sung, resident musical director Nigel Newman keeping a good balance between singers and orchestra. All the principals in this magical show were convincing in their various roles, the children, Mr Snow’s family, acted as a great little team, the dancers, especially in the ballet sequence, were a joy to watch and the chorus sang and moved really well especially in ‘June is Busting out all Over. Wayne Roberts (Billy) gave a convincing performance and his singing of ‘My Boy Bill’ was in a class of its own. The same must be said of Katie Newman (Julie Jordan).  Her interpretation of the very young girl, moving on through her troubled marriage to becoming a mother of a teenager was all handled expertly.  Her singing ability shows no bounds as must be said about Caroline Lowe (Nettie Fowler) whose version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was an absolute tear jerker. The second lead couple. Victoria Emerson (Carrie) and Jack Winrow (Mr Snow) provided the humour in this predominantly serious and sad production.  I loved Jack’s renditions of ‘Geraniums in the Winder’ and ‘When the Children are Asleep’. In the first one he was joined by Tim Ede (Jigger, a thoroughly unpleasant piece of work), performed with remarkable feeling and conviction and in the second one by Victoria whose sense of fun was apparent at all times. Two other people who need a mention are Sarah Papouis (Mrs Mullin) and Lindsay Woodman (Louise) who both gave very powerful performances in their very different roles. It was lovely to see Andy Roberts and Ernie Blackman on stage in this very special celebratory production. Well done Allan and all concerned.